svendborg maersk containership

Maersk Ship Loses 520 Containers in Storm

Rob Almeida
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February 19, 2014

Containers on board the Svendborg Maersk, file image by russavia/wikimedia

The containership Svendborg Maersk faced particularly nasty weather last week as she sailed through the Bay of Biscay on her way to Colombo, Sri Lanka resulting in disastrous consequences.

Limping into the port of Malaga, Spain on Monday, Maersk Line has now reported that 520 containers had been lost from the deck of the ship, more than just the few hundred originally feared lost.

SEE ALSO: U.K. Warns of Shipping Containers Lurking in English Channel

“The total number of lost containers turned out to be even worse than we feared,” commented Palle Laursen, Vice President of Operations, Maersk Line.  “We will now carefully examine our procedures to see if they need correction in order to avoid similar incidents in the future.

“As of now we remain focused on supporting our vessel crew and are dedicated to getting correct information about lost or delayed cargo to our customers and ultimately get the ship back in service as soon as possible.”

Last Friday's storm in the Bay of Biscay
Last Friday’s storm in the Bay of Biscay

Maersk Line notes that 85 percent of the containers were empty and that none of the filled containers carried hazardous materials.  For those who had cargo on board that ship, Maersk Line is currently reaching out to inform their customers of the status of their shipment as soon as an accurate assessment can be made.

According to the World Shipping Council, whose members represent 90 percent of the world’s container ship capacity, the number of containers lost from the Svendborg Maersk on Friday surpasses the entire number of containers lost globally, on average, around the world.  They note that on average, 350 containers are lost annually.

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